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Monday, February 02, 2009

Irish Writers protest at decision to cut writers centre funding

"Ireland's literary fraternity has been stunned by the decision by the Arts Council of Ireland to terminate with immediate effect all funding to the Irish Writers Centre. A number of Ireland’s leading authors have signed a statement expressing dismay at this disturbing decision and calling for the urgent reinstatement of funding. Signatories include: Booker prize winners Roddy Doyle, John Banville and Anne Enright; acclaimed international authors Richard Ford and Will Self; leading novelists Maeve Binchy Joseph O’Connor, Dermot Bolger, John Boyne and Sebastian Barry; poets Paul Muldoon, Derek Mahon, Paul Durcan, Ciaran Carson and Ireland’s Professor of Poetry Michael Longley. The Irish Writers' Centre, which Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney has called "a part of the literary culture", and best selling author John Boyne has described as "a part of the fabric of literature in Ireland", is the national development agency for the development of writers and writing in Ireland where one if its primary functions is to foster and develop new writing talent so as to maintain Ireland's leading position in World literature."

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